Episode 004: Pretty is more than skin deep

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In this episode

I’m like a dog with a hambone. Can’t let this one go.

I want to circle back to those two alleged dirty words – “pretty” and “professional” – that I took issue with in a previous post, “One Ugly Does Not Fit All.” Adjectives used by a few to categorically condemn a very viable approach to creating successful fundraising appeals.

As I see it, part of the problem is the loose or vague definitions given by some. After all, what do they mean by pretty? What does professional look like to them?

Using such modifiers without proper context can do more harm than good for a sh*t-ton of year-end fundraising campaigns. How? By discouraging nonprofits to explore new and differentiating ways to connect with donors. To really connect.

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Show notes

 

Before creating your next fundraising appeal, I want you to consider that pretty is more than skin deep

Hello, hello, hello! Welcome to the BADASSFORGOOD podcast!

I’m like a dog with a ham bone. Can’t let this one go, not yet.

I want to circle back to those two alleged dirty words: “pretty” and “professional.” Adjectives used by a few to categorically condemn a very viable approach to creating successful fundraising appeals.

As I see it, part of the problem is the loose definitions given by some. After all, what do they mean by pretty? What does professional look like to them?

Using such modifiers without proper context can do more harm than good for a sh*t-ton of year-end fundraising campaigns. How? By discouraging nonprofits to explore new and differentiating ways to connect with donors. To really connect.

As shared in episode 002, “One Ugly Does Not Fit All,” TammyZonker and I don’t use words like “pretty” and “professional.” We use words like “innovative” and “strategic.” That said, we do acknowledge that innovative and strategic can have the appearance of looking pretty or professional on the surface. However, after building many highly successful omnichannel fundraising campaigns, it has been our tried-and-proven experience that pretty is more than skin deep.

Let’s put a little meat on this bone.

First. Your fundraising campaign should be omnichannel. Period. It should also be rooted in a robust campaign strategy, and heavily informed by donor data including donor personas, gift transaction, and communication preferences, giving patterns, and other insightful data.

Your fundraising campaign should be a carefully choreographed and integrated mix of – to use their terms – “pretty” and “professional.” It should illustrate donor impact. Include relevant and authentic stories. Use the right images and video to help powerfully tell those stories.

Your campaign should employ a barista’s blend of the right fonts, colors, layout, and messaging to help the donor understand the journeys of those you serve.

To feel their pain and struggle on a deeper and more emotional level.

What do we mean by pretty? What does professional look like to us? How do they work hard to make your appeal tunnel below the skin’s surface to pierce the heart?

Check out these real-world examples from the successful “Hear Me, Love Me, Heal Me” omnichannel, year-end fundraising campaign we created by for The Children’s Center in Detroit.

If you’re not listening to this podcast on my website, visit rtrentthompson.com, click PODCAST at the top of the page and click on Episode 004 to see what we mean by pretty and what professional looks like to us.

You can bet your bottom dollar there will be a select few who trip over themselves moving so fast to slap on the skin-deep labels of “pretty” and “professional.” I hope they don’t skin a knee or chip a tooth along the way.

Applying such vague labels would be an unfortunate mistake.

While the result is an appeal that may look pretty or professional to some, done right, it can go much deeper. And do much more.

It can be an appeal that touches the hearts and moves the minds of your donors. Speaks to their needs.

Inspire them to want to be a part of the incredible work you’re doing. To help advance your mission.

To give.

 

Thanks for listening to the BADASSFORGOOD podcast!

If you like the BADASSFORGOOD podcast, please download it, tweet it, Facebook it, and share it with everyone!

If you have a brand or marketing question, or an idea for a show topic, shoot me an email at trent@rtrentthompson.com or tweet me @badassforgood.

And, if you haven’t already, subscribe to the BADASSFORGOOD podcast today so you don’t miss a single episode!

My name is R. Trent Thompson. Thank you for stopping by!

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